Skip to content
Search AI Powered

Latest Stories

Researchers Want To Bring Back These 30 "Lost" English Words

Researchers Want To Bring Back These 30 "Lost" English Words
Documents, newspapers, and books in classic library. (Credit selimaksan/Getty Images)
Documents, newspapers, and books in classic library. (Credit selimaksan/Getty Images)

The English language evolves, but do these words deserve extinction? Your vote can decide.

Do you peacockize because you're wlonk with a snout-fair dowsabel who doesn't need to parget? Or are you just a fumish or rouzy-bouzy losenger prone to betrumping? Not sure what that means? That's because the English language is constantly evolving.

1,200 new words were added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2016, including yolo, moobs, slacktivism, and fuhgeddaboudit. But for every word added to our daily vocabulary, others fall out of use.

Some words become irrelevant due to changing lifestyles. The task-specific language of preindustrial farming life has no place in software development. Other words just wane in popularity until they're forgotten while their meaning remains relevant. When was the last time you heard totally tubular or rad unironically?

But do all of these words deserve their fate? The "Lost Words Campaign" at the University of York, a team led by senior linguistics lecturer Dr. Dominic Watt, pored over historical texts and dictionaries for olde English words worthy of a return to the modern-day lexicon.

After three months they selected 30 of the best. Each word in the final 30 fall into one of four categories: "post-truth (deception), appearance, emotions, and personality and behavior."

"Within these themes, we've identified lost words that are both interesting and thought-provoking, in the hope of helping people re-engage with language of old."

Now with their collaborator, Privilege Home Insurance, they're asking for public input.

"We're constantly presented with new additions to the English language, but we rarely discuss the words that are leaving and becoming obsolete," said Christian Mendes, head of Privilege Home Insurance. "As a company, we believe in using 'plain English', and the need to communicate clearly and concisely in important documents such as insurance policies is more evident than ever."

"Research like this is important, and it highlights the constantly evolving nature of the English language, with as many words entering as leaving. We're looking forward to supporting the reintroduction of some long-lost words!"

Vote for your favorite word from this list:

Ambodexter - a person who takes bribes from both sides

Awhape - to amaze, stupefy with fear or confound utterly

Betrump - to deceive, cheat, elude or slip from

Coney-catch - to swindle, cheat, trick, dupe or deceive

Dowsabel - sweetheart or "lady-love"

Ear-rent - the figurative cost to a person of listening to trivial or incessant talk

Fumish - inclined to fume or be hot-tempered, irascible or passionate

Hugge - to shudder, shrink, shiver or shake with fear or cold

Hugger-mugger - concealment or secrecy

Losenger - a false flatterer, a lying rascal, or a deceiver

Man-millinery - suggestive of male vanity or pomposity

Merry-go-sorry - a combination of joy and sorrow

Momist - a person who habitually finds fault or is a harsh critic

Nickum - a cheating or dishonest person

Parget - to plaster the face or body with powder or paint

Peacockize - to behave like a peacock, especially to pose or strut ostentatiously

Percher - a person who aspires to a higher status

Quacksalver - a person who dishonestly claims knowledge and skill in medicine

Rouker - a person who whispers or murmurs, who spreads false rumors

Rouzy-bouzy - boisterously drunk

Ruff - to swagger or bluster, to brag or boast

Sillytonian - a silly or gullible person

Slug-a-bed - a person who lies long in bed through laziness

Snout-fair - to have a fair countenance or be fair-faced, comely or handsome

Stomaching - full of malignity, or given to cherish anger or resentment

Swerk - to become gloomy, troubled or sad

Teen - to vex, irritate, annoy, or enrage someone

Tremblable - causing dread or horror

Wasteheart - used to express grief, pity, regret, disappointment or concern

Wlonk - rich, splendid, fine or magnificent

More from News

Dubai Princess Publicly Demands 'Divorce' From Cheating Royal Husband In Blunt Instagram Post

Dubai Princess Publicly Demands 'Divorce' From Cheating Royal Husband In Blunt Instagram Post

In an unexpected move, Her Highness Sheikha Mahra bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Dubai princess, addressed her husband's infidelity on Instagram, declaring their divorce.

Sheikha Mahra, who is daughter of the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, wrote a scathing and short message to her husband.

Keep ReadingShow less
TikTok screenshot of Jodi Benson watching daughter sing; Ariel from the 1989 'The Little Mermaid'
@coolzjay/TikTok; Disney

'Little Mermaid' Star Jodi Benson Tears Up Watching Daughter Sing 'Part Of Your World' On Stage

A clip of the original voice of Ariel, Jodi Benson, watching her daughter Delaney play the lead role in a stage production of The Little Mermaid has gone viral, and Benson revealed she was moved to tears by the performance.

Posted to TikTok, the video has already garnered more than 4.2 million views in only a few days, and people on the platform said they got a bit emotional, as well.

Keep ReadingShow less
Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale's Custom Swimsuit Sends Blunt Message To Her Haters Online

British actor Kate Beckinsale has no time for trolls criticizing her looks.

Instead of addressing haters' unsolicited assessments of her online, the 50-year-old actor came for them with a fierce fashion statement that said it all.

Keep ReadingShow less
Kit Connor
Karwai Tang/WireImage/GettyImages

Kit Connor Is Rumored To Be Top Choice For Gay MCU Superhero—And 'Heartstopper' Fans Are So Into It

Fans of Heartstopper were absolutely chuffed and crossing their fingers after hearing rumors that British actor Kit Connor was being considered to play a known LGBTQ+ superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The 20-year-old has been acting since he was just 8 in numerous TV and film projects, including roles in the 2018 films The Mercy, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. He also portrayed a teenaged Elton John in 2019's Rocketman and voiced Pantalaimon in the HBO fantasy series His Dark Materials.

Keep ReadingShow less
yellow smiley face balloons
Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

People Explain Which Things Massively Improved Their Mental Health

It wasn't that long ago that mental health was only spoken of in hushed whispers due to ignorance and stigma.

But with education and awareness efforts, more people are paying attention to their own mental health and that of the people they care about.

Keep ReadingShow less